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« Reader query on when to head on the job-market | Main | Morality, the Problem of Possible Future Selves, and Christmas Parables »

12/22/2016

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Michel X.

FWIW, a few places where I applied to teach a single course as a sessional (adjunct) last year wrote back to say that I didn't have enough teaching experience (1 course solo, and around 15 as a TA).

My impression, as a result, is that one or two no longer cuts it.

Anonymously

Let me sound a different note. I am not from a prestigious program and consequently have a *ton* of teaching experience. It has done me zero good on the market over the last half-decade. I have taught more than *40 courses as a sole instructor*. While doing so I've kept a pretty active publication schedule too--including a few papers in top 20 places. However, last year when I applied for a VAP that carried a 4/4 teaching load, I didn't even get an interview. They did, however, give an interview to a friend of mine who had taught exactly 1 course in his life (a course I also have taught), but had a fancy pedigree. (he had a few more publications than me, but not in better places). In the PFO letter, the school told me that I wasn't chosen for an interview, because they only wanted to interview people who had a lot of teaching experience, because it was a teaching heavy position.

Best part of the story is that my friend decided he didn't want to the gig and so didn't even do the interview.

I took two morals from this:

* Search committee members can be radically mistaken about which criteria they are actually using when they make hiring decisions.
* Prestige trumps everything else, even for teaching positions.

Amanda

If you look at who got TT teaching positions last hiring season (and I looked at this closely), almost every hire at a non-elite teaching school went to someone with a PhD from an unranked institution (outside of Leiter top 50). Most of those hired had a few publications in third-tier journals, and very few had top 20 publications.

Sorry about your bad luck anonymous. The job market is often random and inexplicable. Your story is not representative though.

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